The Dutch trade journal ‘The Engineer’ chose 15 ‘Technology Talents of 2020’. As it turned out, four work at Amsterdam Science Park, specialising in a broad array of disciplines – from quantum computing algorithms to origami-inspired artificial hearts.
Under the banner of “Engineers change the world, but the world also changes the engineers”, Dutch trade magazine De Ingenieur (The Engineer’) selected their 15 biggest engineering talents under the age of 35. The group were all chosen for their technological prowess and work building a better future. Four of the selected engineers are based at Amsterdam Science Park.
Peter Kraus, Groupleader ARCNL
“The Amsterdam Science Park provides an ideal ecosystem where people with different backgrounds come together to perform fundamental research and develop cutting-edge technology
“I was honoured to be included,” says Stacey Jeffery (34), a Canadian who works as a senior researcher at the research institute QuSoft, which is under the umbrella of the national research institute for mathematics and computer science CWI.
Stacey’s work is highly theoretical: developing applications and algorithms to run on quantum computers – a technology that does not yet exist in a useable form. While her work involves a lot of time working independently, she still considers her job to be about teamwork. “You do the thinking alone, but then you get together with your colleagues to combine your ideas so you can then go further.”
“We’re an interdisciplinary institute. And the layout of Amsterdam Science Park makes it possible for us to work in the same place, which makes for much easier collaborations.”
Peter Kraus (32) echoes Stacey’s sentiments. “The Amsterdam Science Park provides an ideal ecosystem where people with different backgrounds come together to perform fundamental research and develop cutting-edge technology,” he says. “This unique combination of scientists, engineers, technicians, entrepreneurs, and – maybe most importantly – students is a key enabler to tomorrow’s innovations and thus to our success.”
Peter has proven successful at zooming in on the tiniest of details as a group leader at the Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL). As well as overseeing doc and post-doc students, he is coordinating the building of one of the world’s most powerful laser systems. Once in place, it will help the world’s leading manufacturer of chip-making equipment ASML create more efficient products.
As a research institute studying the physics of functional complex matter, AMOLF is also concerned with the microscopic – and works at the cross-section between academia and the business world. As AMOLF’s group leader for soft robotics, Bas Overvelde (34) received media attention for his origami-based metamaterials, which not only fold out in steps but also in scale. Currently, he’s collaborating with a cardiologist at Amsterdam UMC to see if the material can be used to build an artificial heart.
“It’s always great to get positive feedback,” Bas says about his nomination. “But, of course, my research team has been an important prerequisite to achieving results, as well as the inspiring supportive environment at AMOLF. Such an enabling environment seems to exist throughout Amsterdam Science Park.”
Marie Anne van der Haar, Program director of materials, Seaborough,
“I especially appreciate the many advanced shared research facilities and collaboration opportunities at Amsterdam Science Park
The fourth “tech talent” is Marie Anne van der Haar (32), the program director of materials at lighting innovation company Seaborough, who completed her PhD at AMOLF. “When Seaborough moved to the Science Park two years ago, it felt like a homecoming for me.”
She specialises in improving the efficiency and quality of LED lighting. Recently, she discovered how to use the element Europium as a light source for LEDs – an idea that seems set to come to a hardware store near you soon.
“I now experience the park in a different way,” says Marie Anne. “I especially appreciate the many advanced shared research facilities and collaboration opportunities. This gives great opportunities to a young high-tech company like Seaborough since we’re out to expand and explore new research areas.”
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